JAMES WADE 8 – 6 RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD
James Wade saw off a potential comeback from Raymond van Barneveld in a high quality all MODUS clash at the Brighton Centre on week five of the McCoy’s Premier League.
‘The Machine’ hit five 180’s and two ton-plus finishes as he sealed an 8-6 victory over the Dutchman. Wade had led 6-1 but ‘Barney ‘, who fought back from four legs down to win last week, pulled the score back to 6-5 and 7-6 before Wade won a last leg decider to grab his second successive win.
The 2009 Premier League champion admitted that he is yet to peak in this year’s competition but is pleased to have started to turn his form around, after losing his first three matches.
Wade said: “I did a job on Raymond early doors but I seemed to shut off later on. I’m glad to get the win, I’m slowly but surely getting there and I feel like I’m going in the right direction now. I’m still not playing my best though, but if I do play my best darts I know I will be in the top four come the end of the season.”
Wade sprung into life from the start, opening with a maximum and winning the first leg in eleven darts. ‘Barney’ replied by hitting his first 180 in leg two, which he claimed in the same number of darts. The Dutchman just missed the bull for a 161 finish before ‘The Machine’ hit double ten to edge back in front. Wade then grabbed the first break of throw by hitting double top. The left-hander increased his lead to 4-1 with a brilliant 110 checkout.
Van Barneveld looked like he might claw a leg back when he hit his second maximum but Wade took out a stunning 154 finish to go four legs up before the break. ‘The Machine’ hit his second 180, followed immediately by his third, on his way to winning the seventh leg. ‘Barney’ levelled the maximum count in the next leg before hitting double 16 to reduce Wade’s lead to 6-2.
The five-time world champion won the ninth leg against the throw before holding to make it three legs on the spin. Wade relieved the pressure by winning the eleventh leg to ensure he would claim at least a point, hitting his fourth maximum in the process. ‘Barney’ kept his hopes alive by hitting double two to reduce Wade’s lead to two legs. He then grabbed another break of throw to ensure that the match would go all the way, despite Wade hitting his fifth 180.
The world number three almost won the match in sensational style but just missed the bull for a fabulous 161 finish. He sealed the victory nonetheless, hitting his trademark double ten to add to two more points to his total, having claimed his first with victory over Kevin Painter last week.
By Chris Murphy